The Rambo franchise, which started with the 1982 film First Blood and featured Sylvester Stallone as John Rambo all the way up through 2008’s fourth installment, is now officially being rebooted. And however you feel about that particular news, this fact might change your opinion one way or the other: Stallone is not expected to star or even act in any sort of producing capacity despite being the face of the franchise for more than 25 years.
THR reports that the reboot, titled Rambo: New Blood in a nod back to the original film, will be scripted by Brooks McLaren for director Ariel Vromen (The Criminal, Iceman). The Nu Image / Millennium Films project aims to tackle the Rambo franchise in a manner similar to that of James Bond. Stallone’s aged character from the 2008 Rambo will be replaced with a younger actor with an eye towards future sequels, at least until they’re traded in for another young model.
The project is still early in development and, as such, no plot details were given just yet. The original film introduced moviegoing audiences to the big-screen version of the lead character in a 1972 novel by David Morrell. The action movie offered a surprisingly stark look at issues facing disaffected Vietnam War vets, though the book itself had a bleaker, and sadly more realistic ending. While a modern retelling of post-Vietnam War PTSD probably wouldn’t resonate with contemporary audiences, there are plenty of more recent/ongoing military conflicts to draw from, so the screenwriter should have no shortage of material. It just remains to be seen whether or not Rambo: New Blood will tackle such controversial issues as PTSD, the horrors and necessities of war, and treatment of returning veterans, or if it will settle for simply being another action-movie franchise.
Here’s a look at the synopsis for the original “First Blood” novel (via Amazon):
First came the man: a young wanderer in a fatigue coat and long hair. Then came the legend, as John Rambo sprang from the pages of FIRST BLOOD to take his place in the American cultural landscape. This remarkable novel pits a young Vietnam veteran against a small-town cop who doesn’t know whom he’s dealing with — or how far Rambo will take him into a life-and-death struggle through the woods, hills, and caves of rural Kentucky.
Millions saw the Rambo movies, but those who haven’t read the book that started it all are in for a surprise — a critically acclaimed story of character, action, and compassion.